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Important information about pregnancy and thyroid diseases

Important information about pregnancy and thyroid diseases


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Known thyroid disease during pregnancy can affect mother and baby health. Thyroid tests of every woman who wishes to become pregnant should be performed first and should be checked after pregnancy. Particular attention should be paid to those with a known history of thyroid disease, those treated for hyperthyroidism, and those with a family history of goiter. Because thyroid hormones are very important in the development of the baby's brain.

Does thyroid function change during pregnancy?

It is natural that some changes in both functions and dimensions of the thyroid during pregnancy are natural and are not considered a disease. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen secreted during pregnancy may also affect thyroid hormones.

What are the hormonal changes in thyroid function during pregnancy?

The results of thyroid function tests during pregnancy should be evaluated considering pregnancy. The two hormones released during pregnancy also affect thyroid hormones. These include estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). High levels of hCG in the first 3 months of pregnancy may cause a decrease in TSH levels. This fall is temporary. Estrogen increases blood levels during pregnancy and increases the proteins that bind thyroid hormone. As a result, total thyroid hormone levels increase. 99% of the thyroid hormone in the blood is bound to these proteins. However, free forms of thyroid hormones do not increase. Women with normal TSH, fT3 and fT4 levels during pregnancy are functioning normally.

Does thyroid gland size change during pregnancy?

Thyroid gland enlargement may be observed during pregnancy. This may be more frequent and apparent, especially in areas with iodine deficiency. The growth of the thyroid gland during pregnancy is only 10-15% and is usually not noticeable as goiter. The most accurate evaluation can be done by ultrasonography. Real goiter or thyroid dysfunction may also occur during pregnancy. They need to be distinguished from normal or expected changes.

What are the causes of hypothyroidism in pregnancy?

Hypothyroidism, characterized by under-measurement of thyroid hormones in the blood, is normally the most common cause in adulthood. In this pregnancy, there may be a new-onset Hashimoto's thyroiditis, as well as the manifestation of a previously known disease. During pregnancy, TSH monitoring is normally performed considering the slightly elevated TSH level.

What are the harm of hypothyroidism to mother and baby during pregnancy?

Hypothyroidism, which is unnoticed or treated in pregnancy, that is, the decrease in thyroid hormones in the blood, can lead to anemia in the mother, heart failure, placental anomalies, muscle weakness, hemorrhage during delivery and low birth weight.

Thyroid hormones are very important for the baby's brain development. Infants with congenital hypothyroidism may have severe perceptual, mental disorders and neurological and developmental abnormalities. Therefore, a diagnosis should be made immediately after birth. Because all these negativities can be prevented in the case of treatment. Thyroid hormones are examined by taking blood samples from each newborn baby. If necessary, permanent problems can be prevented to a large extent by administering thyroid hormone. Although it is not known exactly how hypothyroidism in the mother affects the brain development of the baby, developmental retardation is frequently seen in infants of mothers with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency. Therefore, thyroid hormones and TSH monitoring should be performed before and during pregnancy, especially in the high-risk group. Because thyroid hormone requirement during pregnancy will increase by 20-25%. Therefore, it may be necessary to increase the drug doses sometimes up to twice as much as the patients receiving medication. Therefore, thyroid tests should be checked at 6-8 weeks intervals during pregnancy. If the thyroid hormone dose is changed, the next check-up should be performed after 4 weeks. Vitamin preparations, called prenatal vitamins, given for support during pregnancy and containing iron, reduce the absorption of thyroid hormone and two drugs should be taken for 2-3 hours. After birth, the mother's need for medication will be reduced and pre-pregnancy doses will be reverted in a short time.

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